GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) As Greenville continues to grow and welcome thousands of new families and residents, some individuals already here say they are being forgotten.
“We have children who are being born into homeless shelters and are celebrating their first second and third birthday in the same shelter, and that’s a Greenville-based narrative,” said Lauren Stephens, director of social services for the Salvation Army of Greenville.
The Salvation Army of Greenville said they are carrying the weight of a problem that needs to be addressed.
“We need Greenville to help us solve their problem,” said Stephens.
Numbers have skyrocketed recently, leaving those at the Salvation Army overwhelmed.
“We have no empty bed on this entire campus and it’s hard for our staff and ourselves to know that each day we come into work, we are going to have to turn people away,” said Stephens.
To fix what’s happening, they have to revitalize their campus. Throughout the process, they’ll need Greenville’s help. They said they are taking on this project because, at this point, it’s no longer a choice.
“Our campus right now was built with the perspective of what homelessness looked like then,” said Stephens. “Families were not homeless, there were not single dads with their children inspiring the architecture of right now.”
Renderings of the plan will soon be made public. But until then, there are other things community residents can help with.
“When you carry your entire life in one bag, and your jacket is not just your jacket it’s your roof, your pillow, your blanket, it gets worn out quicker and quicker and we just need the things we all have too much of,” said Stephens.
Those items would include bottled water, canned food, clothing jackets and socks.
Too often people assume those struggling with homelessness don’t want to work.
The Salvation Army of Greenville said they watch firsthand how hard these people are working to have more. They said they hope the community can rally together to aid their efforts.
“Greenville is a community that has become a place to be…a place to come and a place to want to raise and nurture your family and be an active participant in the community,” said Stephens. “And there are 100 people on this campus that want the same thing.”